PC sales dip slightly in fourth quarter 2011, Gartner says
Personal computer shipments in the United States slid 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to research firm Gartner, representing the market's first decline in more than a decade.
Gartner estimates that PC shipments reached 92.2 million for the quarter, which is unusually sluggish for the holiday season. Several factors played into the drop-off, including the October flooding in Thailand, which led to a shortage of hard disk drives worldwide.
The economic downturn in Western Europe and continued struggles in the United States also factored into the decline, Gartner notes, as these markets are usually among the main drivers of the PC industry.
"While economic uncertainty in Western Europe had an effect on consumer PC shipments, expectations of a healthier economic outlook in North America could not stimulate consumer PC demand in that region," Mikako Kitagawa, Gartner principal analyst, said, according to technology news provider CNET.
Also contributing to the slide may have been a lack of innovation on the PC front. Many manufacturers spent the holiday season pushing new tablet computers rather than traditional notebook and desktop PCs. This may turn around in 2012, as manufacturers once again focus on notebooks, in particular the up-and-coming Ultrabook™.